Melanin might act as a built-in SPF (to an extent), but you're mistaken if you think the colour of your skin exempts you from needing sun protection. Many women of colour opt out of sun cream because of the sticky white residue, which makes your skin look more grey than glowing. Now, though, California native Shontay Lundy has created Black Girl Sunscreen, which may just be the answer to people's prayers.
"I believe it’s the best sunscreen for POC. It feels lightweight, moisturising, has a natural finish and leaves absolutely no white cast or stickiness," shared Reddit user khaleesidee three days ago. "It sinks in the skin in a minute or so and feels smooth but not silicony. It is basically like putting on a very lightweight moisturiser. It does not peel either. I’m absolutely in love, and I highly recommend it!"
Available for $19 (around £14) at BLK + GRN, Black Girl Sunscreen is a paraben-free, fragrance-free SPF30 moisturiser. It is made without oxybenzone, which is the chemical in sun cream that has been linked to the decline of our coral reefs. Although BGS contains natural ingredients such as aloe leaf, carrot oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter and jojoba, it is not chemical-free. Avobenzone and homosalate are listed as main active ingredients. Avobenzone protects from UVA rays, which cause premature ageing and skin cancer, while homosalate absorbs UVB rays, associated with DNA damage.
"My "aha" moment came from a feeling of being underwhelmed by the lack of products on the market for people of colour," Lundy said on the brand's site. "I started looking for a solution and discovered that there were natural ingredients that could boost melanin production, offer proper UV protection, and be fully absorbed by our skin. BGS should be used as an everyday facial moisturiser as it addresses protection against UVA/UVB rays, damage to the skin and premature ageing."
Finally, a melanin-loving sun cream that protects and moisturises your skin without any ashy, white after-effect. Try Black Girl Sunscreen for a healthy summer glow, and help save our coral reefs while you're at it.